Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Peri Berki - December 9, 1983

Deportation of Husband

Did you... Did you write about it in your book?



mm-hm. And uh, someday there was an order that all the soldiers were veterans. First were veterans had to report uh, to duty. And my husband got, also he was an officer in the First World War and we were very proud of him that he is called to duty to the army and as I sat there, all his medals, we were shining, cleaning. In Hungary the officers had sword.

Sword, yeah.

Sword, the sword?


And we were shining, and he went to the place that he had to report. We got the first shock there because he arrived and he arrived with the other veterans who were together in the First World and they were very happy. And then there, there was a fever and the army officer...

[interruption in interview]

It's so difficult to explain it.

You're doing fine.

Pardon me?

You're doing very well.

Uh, they deported and then the men just ripped off the medals. And uh, and uh, and insignia, how it's called? And just, we were shocked, we couldn't even realize what happened. And all of a sudden they said, you are not a member of the army, you are a member of this labor force. And one, how we find it out that one day they got a letter from my husband and it says, “Don't ever let my son see this letter.” And this, this letter, he explained what happened. So he thought this, he will never know any, any worse news than this. He said, “Never let my son read this letter.”

Because he was Jewish, he was...?

He was Jewish.

The Hungarians did this.

Hungarians. Hungarian Army did that, stripped off his rank and everything else. He belonged to the labor force.

And this was because they were pressured by Germany? Or this was just the Hungarian...

Hun... Hungarian, yeah that's a Jewish... They were, there was always anti-Semitism under, under the rug, I don't know how to express that. It wasn't on the surface until, until that period it was un... un... under the surface. And then they were, they were sent out from Hungary to close to Po... Poland. Ukraine.


Yeah. In, in labor force, but he worked that all winter. It wasn't bad. He got adjusted slowly... In the previous years we heard so many rumors that we got adjusted that this happening is not out of the blue sky, because it, it always got worse and worse. And one day we got a wonderful news—uh, he was gone a few months—and one day we got a wonderful news that men under, over forty-four were released, released. So he came back and we were very happy, but for a very short time. Then, there came another order, the Jews cannot own land and—it's very difficult to speak about.

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